Bats Flying

Bats born knowing speed of sound, according to reports in ScienceDaily 5 May 2021 and ScienceAlert 6 May 2021, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 5 May 2021 doi: 10.1073/pnas.2024352118. 

Echolocating bats work out how far away an object or landing place is by using the time taken for sounds to bounce off the object and return to them.  This calculation involves knowing the speed of sound in air.  If they get the calculation wrong they could fly into objects or try to land too early.  Bats are able to use echolocation accurately from when they start flying, so scientists have suggested they must be born knowing the speed of sound. 

To confirm this Eran Amichai and Yossi Yovel of Tel Aviv University raised bats in an artificial atmosphere of enriched with helium.  Sound travels faster through this mix than it does through normal air.  The researchers found the bats raised in the artificial atmosphere consistently tried landing too soon, indicating they interpreted the faster returning echoes as a shorter distance to a target.  Bats raised in normal air landed in the right place straight away.  The researchers also tested adult bats that had been raised in normal air to see how they would cope in the artificial atmosphere. These bats made the same mistake of trying to land too soon. 

The researchers were intrigued to find that both the baby bats raised in the helium enriched atmosphere and the adult bats raised in normal air but tested in the helium air seemed unable to learn from their experience and adjust their responses to the faster echoes.  The researchers concluded “the speed of sound is innately encoded in the bat brain.” 

Yossi Yovel explained: “Because bats need to learn to fly within a short time of their birth, we hypothesize that an evolutionary ‘choice’ was made to be born with this knowledge in order to save time during the sensitive development period.”

Links: Science AlertScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: It is interesting how evolutionary scientists personify evolution and give it the god-like ability to plan and make ‘evolutionary choices.’  Deep down they know that to encode the information needed for a specific purpose ahead of time is the work of a creative mind who designs things with plan and purpose.  It cannot happen by molecules randomly banging into one another. Therefore, they are truly without excuse for ignoring the Creator who designed and made echolocating bats, and equipped them with the information they needed to function straight away.

Creation Research News 19 May 2021

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